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Who Do You Think You Are?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by messages about social media, and how best to market business online. I, like many of you, read and reread the same articles, opinions, and blogs, looking for some nugget of truth or wisdom, but in reality I just haven’t found what I’m looking for.

I’m told to be authentic, but to keep my writing short and to the point. What if I like big words? Should I skip the authenticity, and take things down a notch?

I’m told to be real, but then I’m given lessons in small talk. How real is that? What if I just enjoy talking to people?

I love this post by Danny Brown, in which he asks: Who do we think we are, anyway?

Does it matter if you know who you are online? Yes, but not for the reasons many people might be telling you. It matters not so much to stake a claim on a few pixels of space, or to gain the title of “expert.” You need to know who you are to be effective.

The truth of the matter is that, as Seth Godin says it, “All marketers are liars.” I don’t care if you’re selling a product, service, or by way of saying you’re “real and genuine” or you’re “building community,” you’re trying to make money. You’re selling something. That’s OK, a lot of people are doing it really well, and I benefit–you benefit. What turns me off is when I realize I’ve been daft to listen.

We talk about “content” but don’t challenge each other to think.

So the challenge I give to you (and myself) today is this: Define your own voice, and speak from it. Be OK with the fact that it will grow and change over time. Understand that some people will like it, others won’t. Overall, keep learning; keep experimenting. Eventually you’ll have a stage–you’ll have an audience. The best part is they’ll be yours, or your brand’s, not someone else’s.

If you need some inspiration, take a look at Lauren Luke, a single mum from England with “not many mates, and not much confidence” who’s found her voice on YouTube, and as a result of being real, an audience of millions.

Oprah & Cake: Not Just for Late Night Comedy Skits Anymore

oprah-winfreyThis is a guest post by our Creative Director, Sarah Rozema-Seaton, working all the way from her new home in Oklahoma City. Thanks for the post, Sarah!

Women all around the world watch or set their PVR devices to watch Oprah each week. This is a woman so powerful that she can take failing business’s and make them into successful empires, just by recommending their product. It has been called everything from “Oprah’s million dollar touch” to “the Oprah effect,” and millions of business are trying to just get a change to hitch a ride on this woman’s coat tails.

CNBC’s story on “The Oprah Effect” took my particular interest. (It may be because I am pregnant and stories on cake will always perk my interest.) The story is about a small Fort Lauderdale cake company called We Take the Cake.

In 2003 business owner Lori, bought this failing business, but she believed the product was good. After rebranding the business, she was still struggling and not turning a profit.

An employee of Oprah’s, who was sent a cake and became a customer of We Take the Cake. She introduced Oprah to We Take the Cake’s signature Keylime Bunt Cake. Oprah was so impressed that it went on her list of “Oprah’s favourite things.” With Oprah’s following of millions, the small cake business over night went from floundering to booming! With Lori and her team finding it hard to keep up with demand for cakes.

This link is worth taking a look at. It’s amazing how one woman has such influence over millions of people. It just takes the cake!